A few weeks back, we published the Norseman 2018 Wetsuit count. Now it is time to look into the bikes.
First of all, this is not a real bikecount like the Kona Bike count that is done every year. What we did, was counting the bikes of the athletes in the elite seeding of the race. This was due to us having lots of others and more important obligations during the race. We are in the medical and research team at Norseman, so what we are presenting here is just a small side project. The elite group at Norseman is fairly small. And there are also some DNS among the elite. So therefore, we had only a total of 19 bikes in this in this small survey. Although small numbers, we think there are a few interesting findings.
Every year there is a huge debate on what type of frame is best to use for Norseman. The race has quite a lot of climbing on the bike leg. Some athletes find a road bike best for racing Norseman, others find that a time-trial bike is better. Both types of bike have their pro´s and con´s. The cons of having a TT bike is said to be poor handling of a TT bike in the downhills, while the pro is the aero. It is also said that a road bike is much easier to climb with, which could be an advantage in Norseman. This is how it looks. Almost 90% of the elite athletes use a time-trial frame.
Another debate is if a Disc wheel gives advantages during Norseman. A disc wheel is said to have certain aero advantages, but it also is harder to use during heavy side winds. And on the mountain plateau at Hardangervidda, there is normally heavy gusting winds during Norseman. 26% of the athletes in our bike count is using a Disc wheel.
In the next figure, you can see what type of wheel the elite athletes are using during Norseman. As you can see, Zipp is the most common wheel brand. After Zipp, there is very varied what brand the athletes are using. 32% of the athletes are using Zipp.
As for Powermeters, there are 42% using a Garmin Vector Powermeter, 10% are using using Quark. The rest are using PowerTap, Rotor, Assioma. We could not identify powermeters on all bikes in this survey, but some might have a powermeter that is not identified.
Gear group was the next in this survey. More than 50% of the athletes are using Shimano Ultegra, nearly 25% Using Shimano Durace, 15% using SRAM Red, and 5% using SRAM Force.
Then finally, the real bike count. What type of bike brands are these athletes using? As expected, there are a huge variation in bike brands.
This survey is not a study. It is just a survey. And the number of records (n) is very small. But we do think that there is some valuable information here, so therefore we wanted to publish this. Among the most interesting finding, is the common use of a timetrial bike among the elite athletes.
Next year, we hope to do a more extensive survey.
This survey is done together with research buddy Martin, at W/kg